An Exploration of L’imperatrice

todayApril 5, 2023 25

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By Sofia Gualy

Music Journalist


I truly never thought I could possibly become utterly obsessed with the genre of French funk. Their music seeps into your brain and infects you with the best nu-disco music you have ever heard. The French six-piece, established in 2012, releases a kind of music that truly never gets out of your head. To me, this is the kind of music that deserves the most amount of praise. L’imperatrice, which means “the empress” takes funk music and makes it their own.

The picture displays a stage with the words “L’imperatrice” on a back screen. There are multiple pianists and a lead singer in the picture
L’imperatrice performing at Austin City Limits in October 2022. | Sofia Gualy

In 2012, they came out with a self-titled EP, L’Imperatrice which consisted of 4 songs. In 2014, they came out with a breakthrough piece, Sonate Pacifique, a unique and groovy piece of art that caught the eyes of many. The song, ‘Sonate Pacifique” was one of the first songs that reached a wide audience. This song is in English and sings about someone’s infectious rhythm, much like the music they make, but personified.


Later in 2015, they began to gain traction. L’imperatrice released their single “Vanille fraise”, a purely instrumental song that showcases their funky talents. The song’s name translates to “strawberry vanilla”, which i personally think is the best name for the soundtrack to someone’s summer. The Odyssée EP was also released in 2015. This album is what put L’imperatrice’s name out there. Their song “Agitations tropicales” made huge waves in the indie scene and brought disco to where it was dead. This song is what made me obsessed with the French music scene and pushed me toward a genre that I never thought I would like.


Matahari was their first full-length album. Released in 2018, this album was quite different from their previous EPs. “Erreur 404” is their most popular song off of this album and is a reference to the computer error code. Lead singer, Flore Benguigui, softens the song with her angelic vocals. Matahari, the English version, was released in 2019 with new versions of the same songs. A little darker in theme and much more powerful instrumentally, Matahari is angsty and funky all in one. What more could you ask for?

The picture displays a shadowy figure with smoke coming out of their mouth. The figure is wearing a wide brimmed hat and their is a red and blue gradient background.
L’imperatrice’s first full-length album, Matahari. | L’imperatrice

In 2020, L’imperatrice kicked off their Tako Tsubo era by releasing their first single from that album, “Anomalie bleue”. This is my favorite song of all by the French band. They use so many different instruments in this song and the tune is genuinely hypnotizing. Soon after, they released “Peur des filles” which directly translates to “scared of girls”. This song in particular was a huge hit and landed itself on many playlists on music platforms.


Tako Tsubo was released, after much anticipation, in March of 2021. The album consisted of 14 songs including the previously released singles. Tako Tsubo received raving reviews and more listens than they have ever received. The album is in both French and English, but in my opinion, their French songs are better. “Fou” and “Anomalie bleue” are two must-listen songs off this album and are the songs I would show first-time listeners.


L’imperatrice is a band that can make anyone appreciate the new wave of disco. If you are looking for something quite different from your usual genre, French Disco is for you.

Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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